November 10, 2015

Apps Permissions in the Google Play Store

About This Report

The research presented here is based on an analysis of 1,041,336 apps available in the Google Play Store, which provides apps for smartphones using Google’s Android operating system. Data about these apps was collected for analysis from June 2014 through September 2014. However, it does not cover the apps ecosystem for iPhones, Windows phones, Blackberry phones or any of the other smartphone operating systems. It is intended to be a comprehensive look at how permissions are used in the Android ecosystem from the vantage point of how users are informed about how their information is collected and used. In addition, this report contains data about users’ behaviors and attitudes around apps based on a nationally representative online survey conducted Jan. 27 to Feb. 16, 2015, as well as data about overall smartphone ownership from a nationally representative telephone survey conducted June 10 to July 12, 2015.

This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Find related reports online at www.pewresearch.org/internet

Kenneth Olmstead, Research Associate
Michelle Atkinson, Data Architect
Aaron Smith, Associate Director, Research
Johnathon Hege, Senior Data Architect
Russell Heimlich, Web Developer
Dana Amihere, Web Developer
Seth Rubenstein, Senior Web Developer
Shannon Greenwood, Assistant Digital Producer
Lee Rainie, Director, Internet, Science, and Technology Research
Maeve Duggan, Research Associate
Margaret Porteus, Information Graphics Designer
Dana Page, Senior Communications Manager

In addition to Pew Research Center staff several outside experts were consulted on this report and we would like to thank: Jason Hong, Associate Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, part of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and Jennifer King, Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley School of Information.

About The Web Survey

Survey findings about apps usage and attitudes in this report are based on a Pew Research Center survey conducted between Jan. 27, 2015, and Feb. 16, 2015, among a sample of 461 adults ages 18 or older. The survey was conducted by the GfK Group using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel. GfK selected a representative sample of 1,537 English-speaking panelists in the United States to invite to join the subpanel and take the first survey in January 2014. Of the 935 panelists who responded to the invitation (60.8%), 607 agreed to join the subpanel and subsequently completed the first survey (64.9%) whose results were reported in November 2014. This group has agreed to take four online surveys about “current issues, some of which relate to technology” over the course of a year and possibly participate in one or more 45- to 60-minute online focus group chat sessions.